University job cuts confirmed

Sussex University is making more than a hundred staff redundant in a bid to save £5m a year.

The governing body, the Council, approved the job cuts yesterday. Following consultations with the unions the number of redundancies has been reduced by eight from 115 to 107 and there will also be twenty new posts created.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: "Council endorsed the approach taken by the University to achieve the financial targets set in summer 2009 to address our deficit. 

"They also endorsed the view from Senate - the University's main academic body - that we have a pressing need to make the savings we have identified and to move ahead on the timetable that we have set out.

"This is what we will now focus on. All schools and units at Sussex now have that certainty of clear decisions made by Council, so together we can plan effectively for the academic year ahead.

"We will do all we can to support staff through the changes ahead. We will be opening up these schemes to affected staff next week. They will help to avoid redundancy or mitigate the impact of redundancies."

The job cuts were immediately attacked by Caroline Lucas, the Green party candidate for Brighton Pavilion. She said: " "I was dismayed to hear today that Sussex University governing body has approved their proposal for 107 redundancies.

"This decision is a big blow for education in Sussex. It means fewer subjects will be taught. Students need more support, not less, in their studies - just when they are being asked to pay more than ever before just to be at university.

"Sussex should have looked at alternative ways of saving the money than sacking academics and closing facilities. If we are serious about getting Britain out of recession, Labour needs to properly fund higher education."